Here's what I hate about pairs: my partner.
Sometimes you get a good draw, other times... well, your partner needs to be taken behind a barn. With an older dog, you make every run count. When your partner racks up 20 faults because she's running a dog that was LAME two weeks ago, then how is that fair to me? This nitwit was late to the gate because she was too concerned about getting her hot chocolate for the morning.
I have only run my little dude in enough Pairs to fast track him to the next level: one Q. Why? Because he is young. Sometimes he does what he wants. Is running amok fair to my partner? No.
Like everyone else, I am out to "have fun" with my dog. However, unlike everyone else, my fun involves receiving a QUALIFYING ribbon.
If any of these apply to you/your dog, then SCRATCH from your pairs run, or partner with someone else from this list:
- Your dog was recently lame. Thanks for running a 21" dog that took down THREE 16" bars! My 17" dog doesn't take down bars unless I am in the way! At least your dog can step over them!
- You start a sentence with, "I am retraining...". Don't retrain on my dime! I paid $10 to run with your sorry rump. Perhaps you should RECONSIDER trialing while you remaster whatever you are retraining.
- You and your dog off-course elimination more than you Q. I got stuck with one of these. The dog would have been fine if not for the handler. It's also a bad sign when the people in your area arrange pairs partners WAY in advance to avoid you. The entry form has a line that says. "Please don't pair me with: (dog/handler)". I just write the handler's name. I don't want to pair with either of her dogs.
- You start a sentence with, "My dog can't...". Wow! Your dog CAN'T do something out there? It's the same stuff out there, different order. How did you get in MASTERS/PIII? I know I can take my dog out there and do it all. I expect the same at the Masters/PIII level.
- Your dog hates agility. How can I tell? Refusals at obstacles and refusals to move. Pairs typically has a generous course time, allowing you and your partner a fault or two. When a turtle can outrun your dog, perhaps it is time to stop torturing your dog with agility.